Last month a high school senior in Ohio drove off the road on the way home from prom, striking two utility poles and killing his passenger, 17-year-old Lindsey Rotuno.
The Ohio Highway Patrol eventually confirmed that driver Chase Johnson, 18, had marijuana in his system. Rotuno was not wearing a seatbelt.
Police are still investigating the crash, and the Lorain County prosecutor’s office has yet to determine if Johnson will face charges.
But some opponents of marijuana legalization are concerned that these types of crashes will only increase as more U.S. states relax restrictions on marijuana use.
While decades of research have shown that alcohol increases the risk of vehicle crashes, marijuana research is mixed. Still, it’s clear enough that some researchers urge caution.
“Alcohol is still the main contributor to [vehicle crash] risk. It doesn’t mean that marijuana or cannabis don’t contribute. To me, it’s very clear that if you are stoned,